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6 Simple Ways to Clean Baking Sheets So They Look Brand New

Baking sheet with food.

There is nothing quite like reaching down to grab your favorite baking sheet and recoiling when your hand makes contact with a sticky, greasy mess. Cleaning baking sheets can be time-consuming, and it’s easy to let that task get away from you. Wouldn’t you rather put in the effort before dinner time, so you’re not left to scramble for a microwaved monstrosity instead?

Clean baking sheets can help you keep your kitchen hygienic, and can make you feel like you’re working in a brand new kitchen! A few simple cleaning tips, using items you might already have on hand, can help you restore your sheet pans to their former glory. 

Read on to learn six simple methods for fighting grease, grime, and stains at home.  

1. The Baking Soda Trick

You don’t need to break your back to get your grime-covered baking sheets looking like new again. In fact, one of our favorite techniques for cutting through caked-on grease doesn’t involve any scrubbing at all!

You’ll start by setting your baking sheet in the sink to keep things safe and contained. Boil enough water to cover the surface of your baking sheet, and pour it in while it’s still hot. Add a few tablespoons of baking soda and watch as it begins to bubble!

The bubbling is the result of a small chemical reaction. The water and baking soda combine to create carbonic acid, which is just abrasive enough to eat away at the grease. Wait about one hour for the carbonic acid to do its work, and then wipe away the grime with a cloth or sponge. 

If your grease remains stubbornly in place, you can try soaking it in the water and baking soda solution for several hours, or even overnight. Adding a few drops of your favorite dish soap can help, too. 

2. Clean It With Chemistry

If you are dealing with stained baking sheets, you might have to try something a little more abrasive to get the stains to fade. In those cases, we recommend the power of chemistry! A little bit of elbow grease helps, too. 

If you have ever combined baking soda and vinegar, you may already know what to expect: the substances will react to create a foamy, acidic substance. This substance contains both carbonic acid and sodium acetate, which are all-natural cleansers that work great on metallic surfaces. 

Again, set your baking sheet in the sink and fill it will enough boiling water to cover the surface. This time, add half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar. Let it bubble for about an hour, and then scrub it away with an abrasive kitchen sponge or scrubber. 

3. Be Abrasive!

Sometimes all it takes to tackle the process of cleaning baking sheets is the right tool. In the case of metal sheet pans, an abrasive cleaning tool like a copper cloth can help you defeat even the most persistent grease. Combined with an abrasive cleaning product, such as a granulated detergent, you’ll have no problem grinding the grime away!

This works because copper is a softer metal than steel, which you might find in wool cleaning pads, such as Brillo. In contrast, copper is strong but gentle on metal surfaces. That means your baking sheets won’t get damaged, even if you scrub hard. 

You might want to avoid this technique when cleaning non-stick baking sheets. Even gentle copper can strip the sheets of their non-stick coating, which leads to more cleaning down the line.

4. Pop Them in the Oven

If your baking sheets are well and truly scorched, it can be helpful to try out a high-heat solution. Before you bake again, consider popping those baking sheets into the oven without anything on them. While they’re in there, follow the instructions to run your oven’s self-cleaning cycle.

During the cycle, ovens can get as hot as 880 Fahrenheit. This extreme heat causes food solids attached to the oven (and your baking sheets) to decompose. During the cycle, much of the scorched food matter on your baking sheets will turn to ash. 

Some ovens use steam during a self-cleaning cycle. The steam works along with the heat to soften and remove grease. 

Note that your oven will get very hot during the cycle, and your pans will, too. Give them some time to cool before removing them using an oven mitt or potholder. From there, much of the burnt-on mess will have become ash, and you should be able to clean it off by hand in the sink. 

A sponge and some dish soap should be enough to remove anything left behind, leaving you with like-new baking sheets!

5. Clean Baking Sheets With Cream of Tartar

If you’ve never heard of cream of tartar, you’re not the only one. It’s actually a byproduct resulting from the wine-making process. It’s a fine white powder that can you can buy from the spice and baking area in the supermarket.

You will want to sprinkle your baking sheet with the cream of tartar until you have covered the surface. Then, spritz it with vinegar until the cream of tartar gets soaked through. Leave it to sit for about eight hours, until it completely dries.

From there, wash the substance off of the baking sheet with some warm water. The acidic cream of tartar should have broken down the grime. The longer it sits, the more effective this process tends to be! 

6. Try a Dryer Sheet

This is one of our most surprising cleaning hacks, but if you have kids in the house and you’re wary of chemicals or high heat, it’s a great option. Line your baking sheet with dryer sheets from the laundry room, then fill it with water and a few drops of dish soap. Leave it to sit for about three hours.

When you return, the water will be brown and murky looking. That means the dryer sheets have helped to loosen up the grease. Remove the dirty water and dryer sheets, and give your sheet pain a quick wash.

It is amazing to see just how much grease has dissolved using such an unexpected tool!

Keep Things Clean With Anita’s

Anita’s Housekeeping Referral Agency can help you with more than clean baking sheets. We can connect you with experienced, background-checked house cleaning professionals who know the best tips and tricks for keeping your home spick and span. If you don’t have the time or the patience to scrub, there is a professional out there who is ready and willing to tackle those baking sheets for you!

Are you ready to give one of our professionals a shot? Book a professional today directly on our website. You’ll be able to spend less time scrubbing baking sheets and more time making memories! 


Anita's Housekeeping Editors